Arequipa is also known as the “white city”, in Spanish language “Ciudad Blanca”, due to its colonial elegant buildings made of white porous volcanic stone called “sillar”. It is the second largest city in Peru after Lima. It’s a great stop while visiting Peru and you can consider to stay there for 2 or 3 days during your Peru trip.
Here a list of things you can consider doing and places to visit in Arequipa:
- Plaza de Armas: the social heart of the city, where you can find the popular white cathedral, the beautiful fountains and the characteristic palm trees. Here you can relax and get in touch with local people that usually gather in the main square. The square is surrounded by arches where you can find bars and rooftop cafes to chill and enjoy the view of the square. After sunset the lighting is amazing and you can enjoy the square at its best.
- St. Catalina Monastery: One of the most ancient spots in the city, the monastery is a large complex in the heart of the city center. It’s located only 5 to 10-minute walking distance from Plaza de Armas and it is easily recognizable due to the colors of the walls, which go from red to deep blue. You can choose to visit the area on your own or through a guided tour.
- Yanahuara: This is a middle-class residential district of Arequipa, famous for its Mirador and the Yanahuara’s Church. The area is not located in the city center, but it is worth visiting. El Mirador (lookout point) offers an amazing view of El Misti Volcano. The district is full of colonial buildings and churches.
- El Misti Volcano: If you are into treks, you are an experience climber, you should pay a visit to the charming Misti volcan, located at more than 5,500 mt above sea level, which last erupted in 1985. Remember to bring with you coca leafs which will help you with the altitude if you want to do the 2-day trek to reach the top.
- Sachaca District: This is another district of Arequipa famous for its mirador where you can enjoy a charming view of the city’s historic center and El Misti volcano. The plus of this district is definitely food, since there you can find several “picanterias”, traditional restaurants serving local dishes such as “rocoto relleno”.
We did not include the Colca Canyon on purpose since we believe you need an additional 2 days to include it in your itinerary.
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